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Hunger Games? Used car market, Medicare Advantage both tough markets

Hunger Games? Used car market, Medicare Advantage both tough markets

I am currently in the market for a new used car, my first in 10 years. While I knew it was coming, the news came as an unwelcome shock because I, too, have heard about the vehicle shortages, high costs and high interest rates that have turned what was already an unpleasant experience, at best, into a Hunger Games-style free-for-all.

Over at my work desk, the big news is the Humana contracts, an exciting opportunity for AdaptHealth and Rotech and a source of dread and anxiety for everyone else as they wonder what to expect in the short term (loss of existing patients?) and in the long term (is this the start of a new world as insurers expand ever further into the Medicare Advantage space and start tightening up their networks?).

With insurers across the board tightening networks, its easy to see why providers might be concerned about a similar Hunger Games scenario as they jockey for market share.

Provider Robyn Parrott is concerned for the small number of her own respiratory patients that will be impacted by the change. After struggling through two years of the Philips recall, dealing with loaner programs, inventory shortages and missing parts, she’s now got a new concern: a bunch of CPAP machines with “a lot of mileage on them,” once those sleep patients are transitioned over to Rotech.

After last week’s conversations with providers I can safely say, I think many in the industry feel they have a lot of mileage on them.

Provider Bruce Roussell is concerned about the impact to his small business, which he launched in Sept. 10, 2001 (note that date).

“I’ve been through fire, floods, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida – I’m just tired,” he told me.

We hear you, Bruce, but it sounds like you’re not running on empty just yet.

I always strive to end these missives on a positive note. I do take heart that, even as the market feels tougher than ever, there’s always growth and improvements. Technology to care for patients is growing by leaps and bounds (hello, CGMs), and even those notoriously change-resistant policymakers are seeing the light on some things (seat elevation is finally a go).

The HME industry has shown us time and again that it’s a resilient one, and that’s down to the providers themselves, who keep shifting the necessary gears to keep up with the changes on the road ahead.

As for me, I am still driving the old car, which is hanging in there, barely, and isn’t entirely road-legal at this point. I’ve begun ramping up the search this week and hopeful to find a car soon.

Beep-beep, beep-beep, yeah.


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